I enjoy having Kate back again. I don't like Kate in the same way I liked Jennifer – the way where I kind of actually liked her and harbored the hope that she'd be to some degree rehabilitated a la Peter Hale, rather than killed off – but I like her as a big, showboaty villain. She's a sadist and a sociopath, but some seasons, you're kind of looking for that. Not that I don't appreciate that weird Teen Wolf dynamic where the same guy who is shoving a gun into Scott's forehead later on becomes a beloved father figure, but it's nice to just take some time out from that kind of thing occasionally and just embrace Kate “Please, I'm bleeding to death” Argent.
So this may sound a little harsh, but I don't mean it to be at all judgmental, really. I just find it difficult to get super worked-up about Melissa's financial problems, because there's a pretty simple solution to this: sell the fucking house. That house is huge. It's vastly more square footage than a single woman with a nearly-grown son about to leave home could ever possibly need. Sell the house. Get an apartment. Pay off the debts, take the money that's now left over from not having to pay a giant-ass mortgage and outrageous utility costs, and use it to help your kid get out of college without a small nation's worth of debt. I realize that it's usually flippant and just a really bad idea to look at someone else's financial situation and be like, “That would never be a problem for me, because...” But. Is she really planning on keeping that house once she's alone in it? It's a huge house. She and Scott are both gone a lot; I feel like a nice two- or even three-bedroom apartment would be more than enough space for their needs. Presumably she feels an emotional attachment to it; it's the house Scott grew up in, it's probably the house she and her husband bought together during happier days, etcetera. I'm not discounting that there would be sadness involved with giving it up, but I honestly can't fathom that working constantly and still having months of bills piled up that you can't pay would ever feel better than just closing the book on that part of your life when you were a young family and moving on to something that meets your needs now.
This is an extremely quip-heavy episode. Malia guilelessly offering to try catching her friends' scent to help with roll call, Parrish briefly concerned that someone would try to assassinate him for five bucks, Lydia stressing that she only almost broke another banshee, Stiles' radiant delight at learning some shit about Brunski. The dead pool plotline isn't all that enthralling, but it provides a serviceable framework to hang jokes on, and I'm easy to please.
How do the berserkers not leave tracks, by the way? It seems like they'd be really heavy, with all that exoskeleton.
I find Satomi's pack really interesting in its implications. It's hard to see, but it looks like about eight dead bodies in the woods, plus Demarco and Carrie and Brett – so we're talking about twice the size of any of the three packs we've seen until now. We know they've been trained for control by the mantra method, only superficially different from the one Talia Hale used, and we know that they shared Satomi's ability to mask their scent. They're not new in town by any means; Scott knew Demarco, and Liam knew Brett, so they've been around long enough to have established histories in Beacon Hills. We know Satomi was in the area as a prisoner at Oak Creek, and there's every possibility that she never left, which means her pack was so flawlessly concealed that even the Hales were never aware of them. I don't know, it's just really interesting to me! All this sturm und drang has been going on for two years now, and here are these ten or twelve quiet Buddhist werewolves, minding their own business, never making themselves a target for Deucalion or for the Argents, peacefully congregating in the woods like an entire alternate universe from the non-stop gore and vendettas that have made Scott's life a tsunami of PTSD.
I realize that “I'm going to save everyone” is the kind of moment you can only have when you're a teenager or you are the lead on a tv show, but that's exactly why being young is kind of great and fiction is kind of great. There are types of realism that I value in fiction. I really hate it, for example, when you say, Well, why didn't the character just do X obvious thing, and someone responds, Because if they did that, there wouldn't be a story. Well, then it's a shitty story! Tell a different one, less full of stupid people! But there are types of realism that I think the world really just doesn't need any more of, like pretty much any type of fantasy fiction that's floating around now patting itself on the back for how grown-up and realistic it is. We know. We know power replicates power, people are endlessly inventive when it comes to ways and reasons to ruin each other, no one ever really saves anyone else, and our anger and our sadness are the poisons we drink hoping to make our enemies sick. We're all grown-ups; we know. And there's really nothing more futile than talented people frittering away their talent preaching to the choir, telling their audience everything they already know and congratulating everyone involved on being so clever. That is a recipe for a shitty story, too.
If you happen to have talent yourself, I humbly ask this of you as a favor: tell a less shitty story, one we don't already hear every day. Tell us one where no one else dies.
( s4 ep6: Orphaned )